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Photo: Conte calls up 19-year-old midfield gem with 'very bright future ahead of him' to Spurs training pre-Leeds
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Photo: Conte calls up 19-year-old midfield gem with 'very bright future ahead of him' to Spurs training pre-Leeds

Tottenham Hotspur will look to end the first half of the season on a high note against Leeds United on Saturday.

Spurs have blown hot and cold for much of the season, and have lost their last two games in all competitions.

After falling to a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, Tottenham were then knocked out of the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Nottingham Forest outplayed Antonio Conte’s Spurs en route to a 2-0 win at the City Ground.

Tottenham are in the Champions League knockouts and still in the Premier League’s top four. So it’s not all that bad.

Nonetheless, Spurs must pick themselves up ahead of the domestic season stopping for the World Cup.

On Thursday, the Tottenham media team shared footage and pictures of their latest training session.

Conte called a couple of youngsters up to first-team training at Hotspur Way, including Matthew Craig.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The 19-year-old is a ‘really tough‘ midfielder who can also play at centre-back.

As per the Tottenham website, Craig was a county cup winner and 1,500m district champion at school.

He is a Scotland youth international, and previously played for Watford.

Craig has previously captained his country at Under-16 level and played for them in the Victory Shield.

He earned promotion to the Under-23s (now U21s) in the summer of 2021 and has made 34 appearances for them.

Craig has been featuring fairly often in first-team training, suggesting that Conte is a big fan.

‘An intelligent and tigerish midfield player’

In 2021, Superhotspur published an in-depth article about Craig – here is an excerpt.

‘As a midfielder Matthew plays usually as a number 4, and he is more deep-lying than his brother Michael, who likes to get forward more,’ they wrote.

‘An intelligent and tigerish midfield player who likes to watch Harry Winks play for Spurs, Matthew is very good at anticipating the play and he works very hard off the ball, covering a lot of ground during matches, thanks to his great stamina.

Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

‘With good passing ability, the midfielder is good at keeping the ball moving in the central areas of the pitch, just like somebody like Harry Winks does, for example.

‘Never overcomplicating things when he is on the ball, Matthew has a calming presence about him on the pitch, but he is also a tenacious player despite not being the biggest of players.

‘Good at making challenges and getting in front of opposing teams players at the vital moment, one thing that Craig does which I really like is that he is so often looking to make that forward pass whenever he receives the ball.

‘However, most importantly he is a very consistent performer and a reliable player, who looks to have a very bright future ahead of him in the game.’

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